Okinawa authorities view earthenware found in Henoko as cultural assets

November 25, 2015 Ryukyu Shimpo

On November 24, officials from the Okinawa Prefectural Government (OPG) inspected objects, which appear to be clay pots and stone artifacts, found off the coast of Camp Schwab in Henoko, Nago, the site for the planned relocation of Futenma Air Base. After inspecting the objects, Kamenobu Kinjo of the OPG confirmed their cultural relevance. He said, “I am 90 percent sure the objects were cultural assets.” Kinjo also spoke about the objects’ prospects for formal recognition as cultural assets as well as their care.

At the site where the clay pots and stone artifact were found, an anchor-like stone had already been found and recognized as a cultural asset. If the newly found objects are formally recognized as cultural assets, Nago Education Board is expected to talk to the OPG about recognizing the site as historic ruins. The recognition of the area as historic ruins could possibly delay the construction of the new U.S. military base.

According to Kinjo, nine objects, such as clay pots and ceramics, have so far been recognized as cultural assets. These objects belong to the late Kaizuka period, about 2,000 years ago. Kinjo said the objects that appear to be stone artifacts need to be further inspected for the OPG officials to confirm whether these are cultural assets. The OPG plans to learn further details about the found objects. The head of the Education Board, Akira Moromizato, reported on the same day they would begin working on recognizing the objects as cultural assets.

(English translation by T&CT)

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